Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Dot Com King

Who is Kevin Ham & why have we never heard of him?

Kevin Ham is the Dot Com King. He reigns in the kingdom of Domain. Until recently I have never heard of him, bet you haven’t either. He rules his kingdom from the seat of Reinvent Media Group, a Vancouver based company that owns over half a million domain names and who is arguably the most powerful and successful member of a small, albeit growing elite group of Domainers; landlords of valuable real estate on the internet. Kevin appears to be a very private man.

I recently sat with royalty and didn’t even know it. No, it wasn’t with Kevin Ham, but with Conor Shankey, the CTO of Reinvent Media. Conor is no mean dude himself when it comes to internet savvy and his role in it. We were both guests at a birthday party at the Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver. Over dinner he sat across from me. I reached over my dish of lamb shanks – no, there was no asparagus; I did not ask him for a date and besides his lovely wife was seated by his side - and engaged him in polite dinner conversation.

Turned out that Conor was in internet marketing and that’s when all semblance of politeness dropped as at the mere mention of anything internet my ears perk up and my “inquisition mode” – as my husband likes to term my natural curiosity - kicks into overdrive. I was floored when I learned that his company owned over half a million domain names, the largest domain owner in the world. My eyes must been the size of saucers as the sheer enormity of that number sank in. He then told me about Kevin Ham.

Conor Shankey is the founder of the very successful Visual Knowledge which was acquired by Reinvent Media in 2008.

OK … enough with the name dropping. What am I getting at? For several years now I have been following the development of virtual real estate. Ed Dale
and Kevin Wilke to name just two big guns in the internet marketing world are big players in this niche, but I first heard of virtual real estate at a seminar I attended almost two years ago in Los Angeles. I honestly don’t remember who it was that spoke about it. What I do remember is that the concept immediately began to churn cogs and turn wheels into motion as the very idea galvanized me completely.

I wrote about virtual real estate on this blog:

- There’s Money in Them Thar Blogs - April 13

That was Danielle Friedland I was referring to.

And again in:

- Owning Google Real Estate: - April 04

Dealing in virtual real estate is a growing business. From domains being auctioned off at seemingly ridiculous prices – Kevin Ham is known to have paid as much as $350,000 for a single domain name – to buyers wheeling and dealing with existing performing sites such as Danielle’s celebrity babies blog and pulling in a mil or two and oftentimes more.

No matter how you look at it, it’s a big business. I began to assemble a portfolio of domains shortly after my return from that Los Angeles seminar. I thought I was doing ok with 27! ...lol... These are all domains that actually have a web presence as sites and require my attention. They are monetized and bring in money, but not enough yet to outsource any of the functions.

It never occurred to me to buy domain names and hold them for future resale whilst systemically monetizing them in the meantime. My previous understanding of virtual real estate has expanded exponentially. Henceforth I’ll view my modest domain portfolio with a little bit more respect and continue to buy, hmmm, that would be "invest." It’s a lot more affordable than the stock market; the downside is negligible and the upside at best stratospheric. It is after all still a game, a domain name game, and its not just kings who can play at it.

It’s a thought … have I expanded your horizons? Just a wee teenzy bit? I hope so.

Happy Blogging!

Blogger for Money

PS. Now that’s cheese worth biting into!

Quick Links:
Reinvent Media Group
Cellar Jazz Club
I reached over the asparagus and asked her for a date” John F. Kennedy
Kevin Ham
Conor Shankey
There’s Money in Them Thar Blogs
Danielle Friedland
Owning Google Real Estate:

No comments:

Post a Comment